McMaster University is committed to the just, fair and equitable treatment of every member of the University community. In keeping with this commitment, the University joined with the McMaster Students union in 1998 to support the development of a jointly-funded Ombuds office.
The Ombuds acts as a source of general information and referral, assists in the resolution of individual complaints, and may conduct investigations and make systemic recommendations as appropriate. In order to fulfill this mandate, the Ombuds has broad access to all members of the University community and to all information and records as required. The Ombuds is a non-voting member of several committees, contributes to the development of policies and procedures, and participates in educational initiatives on fair decision-making.
Students might visit the office with academic concerns, such as those involving; appeals or petitions, examinations, academic dishonesty or research misconduct, withdrawals or reinstatements, course rules or management, a supervisor or instructor.
Faculty of Staff might visit the office with:
• issues involving students
• process and policy questions
• interpersonal conflicts
• quality of service
• disciplinary issues
• working conditions
Students might visit the office with non-academic concerns, such as those involving; behavioural or professional codes of conduct, on-campus employment, residence life, financial matters, clubs and associations, quality of service.
The Ombuds is available to assist in the resolution of a University-related complaints and concerns, especially those that have not been addressed through the usual channels. The Ombuds can:
• explain University policies and procedures and how they affect you
• objectively review your situation
• help to develop options
• assist you in pursuing a resolution
The Ombuds is not a decision-maker, however, after determining the facts of a situation, they may make a recommendation to remedy the situation.